We have reached a point in our nation's descent into psychotic tribalist fear where people of stature and apparent sobriety unabashedly use the expression “final solution” when discussing the existence of Muslims.
For ISIS “and those similarly motivated,” insists retired Marine Lt. Col. James G. Zumwalt in an essay published by Family Security Matters, “a rational world should recognize but one `final solution' exists – their extinction.”
For Zumwalt. “those similarly motivated” is an expansive category, which includes not only “al-Qaeda, Hamas, Hezbollah, the Taliban, the mullahs of Iran, Somalia's Shababb, [and the] Khorasan group,” but also their Muslim victims. On the basis of murkily sourced atrocity accounts and propaganda videos of dubious provenance, Zumwalt concludes that the victims of ISIS exhibit a “Muslim death wish” by supposedly allowing themselves to be killed without seeking “to overpower their captors.”
“The message to take from Muslim victims unwilling to save themselves to pursue their promised afterlife should be clear: their murderers will never be convinced to stop killing,” asserts Zumwalt. An unspoken but undeniable corollary of his view is that wholesale annihilation of Muslim populations is strategically necessary and morally justifiable, because Muslim victims of terrorism are infected with the same “ideology” as their captors.
Zumwalt is a prominent mouthpiece for the Military-Industrial Complex, and it's not surprising that his views are echoed by other members of the Pentagon-aligned Commentariat. For example, Retired Army Lt. Col. Tony Shaffer claims that Syrians under siege by ISIS have pleaded, “Please bomb us! We'd rather be bombed and dead, than raped by ISIS.”
For Zumwalt, the only good Muslim is one who has been violently dispatched to his anticipated paradise. Shaffer refines that message by suggesting that good Muslims display their virtue by begging for the US government to kill them.
“Kill them all, for God will know his own,” recommended the religious adviser to the pious Crusaders laying siege to the castle at Beziers, setting their minds at ease over the prospect of killing orthodox Catholics along with Albigensian heretics. That mandate, adapted to a literary level suitable for “reality” television, was recently renewed by Duck Dynasty patriarch (and, therefore, theological heavyweight) Phil Robertson with application to Muslims: “In this case, you either have to convert them – which I think would be next to impossible … or kill them.”
Yes, Robertson was referring specifically to the much-dreaded and nearly omnipotent ISIS, but his core audience consists of people who have been convinced that all Muslims are, at best, latent Jihadists who seethe with unconsummated and irrepressible lust to slit the throats of all infidels.
ISIS “is doing to America [sic] journalists what every true follower of Mohammed wants to do to you and yours: subjugate or murder you,” shrills Gary Cass, who apparently regards himself as a pastor of some variety. “They believe they have been given a mandate by Allah [Satan] to dominate the world.”
Cass, who maintains a website called DefendChristians.org, apparently isn't aware that Allah (a cognate for Elohim) is an ancient Name-title of the Deity used by millions of Arab Christians who neither worship Satan, nor seek the triumph of a global Caliphate. He is also tone-deaf to the implications of the three “solutions” he proposes for the Muslim world.
The first “solution” is mass conversion, which he dismisses as a genetic impossibility, given their descent from Abraham by way of his supposedly cursed son Ishmael.
“God has a plan, and he revealed it at the birth of Ishmael, the father of the Arabs,” Cass pontificates. “The Arab Muslims are God's sworn enemies and are ordained by God to be against everyone.”
Terrible, having bad blood like that. This leads to Cass's second “solution” – “Depart All Muslims Now” (which he puckishly reduces to the acronym DAMN), which means either mass sterilization, mass expulsion, or some combination of the two.
|Peddling mass murder: Cass at the pulpit.
“Muslims in America are procreating at twice the rate of other groups,” writes Cass. Displaying either culpable ignorance of the historical resonance of his suggestion, or depraved delight therein, Cass said that our options are either to “force them all to get sterilized, or we wait for the `Army of Islam' to arise in our midst and do what Muslims always do, resort to violence.”
It has been said that contemporary tyrants read Orwell as an instruction manual. Cass makes similar use of Exodus 1:8-10, which describes how Pharaoh, alarmed over Hebrew fecundity, employed quasi-genocidal means to reduce their numbers for the purpose of strategic pre-emption.
Neither forced conversion, government-inflicted barrenness, nor mass expulsion offers an appropriate remedy, according to Cass, which leaves us with his final “solution”: “Violence.”
Since “every mosque in America is conspiring to kill you and yours,” Cass maintains, “we must be prepared for the increase of terror at home and abroad.... Muslims cannot live in a society based on Christian ideals of equality and liberty. They will always seek to harm us. Now the only question is how many more dead bodies have to pile up at home and abroad before we crush the vicious seed of Ishmael in Jesus' name?”
Genocidal warfare – a systematic campaign to eradicate all Arabs – is a severe form of mercy, Cass assures his readers, admonishing them to “take the lesser pains now so our children won't have to take greater pains later.”
That's right: He wants us to annihilate the “seed of Ishmael” (which, by his definition, would include Arab Christians, as well as non-Arab Muslims) for the children.
Paul Hollrah, a Senior Fellow with a dodgy organization called the Lincoln Heritage Institute, agrees that we confront a monolithic Muslim menace. His approach is a shade more subtle than Cass's – it would have to be, given that Cass's manifesto is practically an abdridged transliteration of Mein Kampf – but just as comprehensive. Hollrah urges legislative action to criminalize the religion of Islam, coupled with the use of holographic propaganda to re-program Muslims imprisoned in concentration camps.
“Islam is not a religion, as we understand the term,” Hollrah pronounces with the unwarranted but invincible certitude of a confirmed bigot. Instead, he continues, it is a subversive movement devoted to the overthrow of the US government “by violence, if necessary.”
“Accordingly, we must resolve that `What is sauce for the (Communist) goose is sauce for the (Islamic) gander,” he continues, calling for the transposition of the Communist Control Act of 1954 into a measure targeting Muslims. His proposed legislation would define Islam as “the agency of a hostile foreign power” constituting “a clear and present danger to the security of the United States,” and designate its followers as people “directed and controlled in the conspiratorial performance of their revolutionary services. Therefore, the organization of Islam shall be outlawed in the United States.”
After enacting this measure, and ensuring that “eyes and ears are planted in every mosque and Muslim center in the United States,” American Muslims could be cattle-penned with “jihadists and other soldiers of the faith” who are “warehoused in various CIA black sites, as well as prison compounds in Afghanistan and Guantanamo Bay.”
Since the typical jihadist (like all other Muslims, presumably) has “the intellectual capacity of an angry chimpanzee,” it would be possible to reprogram him through the use of a holographic simulacrum of the Prophet Mohammed. This apparition, which would float “in mid-air … some fifteen or twenty feet above the floor” like the computer-generated idol Landru from Star Trek, would tell captive Muslims that terrorism is a sin, and that terrorists who kill the innocent will suffer “eternal hellfire.”
Such “drastic measures” are justified, Hollrah maintains, because “we are dealing with religious fanatics whose only goal in life is to kill us all, and for no other reason than that we exist.”
That characterization may be true of an immeasurably small fraction of Muslims, who reside within a larger number of Muslims whose anger toward the West often grows out of entirely legitimate grievances with U.S. foreign policy. It is also the case that an increasing number of Americans believe that “infidels” cannot be secure as long as Muslims exist. This implacable enemy, we are told, includes followers of Islam who have distinguished themselves by preaching peace, reconciliation, and civic responsibility; all of this, we are told, is mere “taqiyya” – strategic deception by people conducting an insidious “stealth jihad” in the service of the incipient “global caliphate.”
“Mohammed’s teaching only teaches one thing,” Oklahoma State Representative John Bennett declared during a town hall meeting in Muskogee. “And that’s the violence that we’re seeing today in ISIS and the beheading in Moore and other places.”
Bennett was referring to the horrific murder allegedly committed by Alton Nolen at Vaughn Foods. Hours after being terminated from his job, Nolen returned to the business brandishing a knife, with which he attacked two women. One of them was stabbed with such ferocity that her head was severed. The other survived the assault, which was ended by a co-worker who shot the assailant.
Nolen, who served prison time for a violent felony, was described as a recent convert to Islam who tried to proselytize his co-workers. His murderous anger, however, was triggered by job-related frustrations, not an expression of a perverted missionary impulse. The lethal knife attack was no more a ritual execution of an infidel than the similarly gruesome stabbing of Nicole Brown Simpson twenty years ago – another assault that nearly severed the victim’s head from her body.
Like other similarly ill-informed and irresponsible people, however, Bennett insists that the murder at Vaughn Foods was an act of mini-jihad inspired by the teachings Nolen had absorbed at the Islamic Society of Greater Oklahoma City, which the Republical legislator pretends is a roiling cauldron of radicalism.
Weeks before the murder in Moore, Bennett – whose “expertise” regarding Muslim violence is a product of his experience as a Marine sent to kill them in Iraq and Afghanistan -- described Islam as a “cancer in our nation that has to be cut out.”
In a post on his Facebook page, Bennett claimed that “The Quran clearly states that non-Muslims should be killed” and urged Oklahomans to be “wary of the individuals who claim to be `Muslim American.’ Be especially wary if you’re a Christian.”
Confronted about his casual defamation of at least 40,000 Muslim residents of Oklahoma,
Bennett replied that ISIS cadres are invoking the Quran while committing “beheadings in Iraq and Syria and if they aren’t stopped, the same will happen here.”
“Muslim Americans who subscribe to Islam are just as bad as ISIS,” Bennett pronounced in a television interview, dispelling any ambiguity.
With respect to condemning ISIS, Bennett was pushing against an open door: Both the Oklahoma chapter of the Council on American-Islamic Relations (CAIR) and the Islamic Society of Greater Oklahoma City (ISGOC) had emphatically, explicitly, publicly, and repeatedly denounced the group.
This merely ricocheted off Bennett’s impervious bigotry: The representative dismissed those gestures as “lies and deflections” intended to conceal the supposed fact that all Muslims in Oklahoma are a jihadist Fifth Column.
It would be irresponsible to ignore the fact that there were threats of beheadings issued in the weeks leading up to the murder at Vaughn Foods. To be specific, those threats were made against peaceful Muslims who were preparing for an anti-ISIS demonstration. Adam Soltani, spokesman for CAIR Oklahoma, described receiving an anonymous phone call telling him that “all Muslims should be beheaded.”
“We started getting threats and hate messages a few weeks before the murder,” Imam Imad Enchassi of the ISGOC told me in a telephone interview. “This happened after Bennett claimed that ninety percent of the Quran is violent, and that Americans should be afraid of Muslims and that Islam is a `cancer’ in our country that `needs to be cut out.’”
“This wasn’t just political rhetoric,” the Imam maintains. “This was meant to dehumanize us and depict us as a threat that had to be removed, by force if necessary, from our country. We reached out to the GOP leadership, and we got no response, although we did get support from many of our neighbors and partners in the interfaith movement. Things calmed down for a while– and then ISIS started beheading people, and the hate messages started to trickle in again.”
Imam Enchassi points out that “There are tens of thousands of Muslims living in Oklahoma, and we have categorically condemned all terrorism, including the crimes committed by ISIS. Those acts are intolerable, not only as offenses against our faith, but as crimes against all standards of decency and rules of civilized living.”
The anti-ISIS demonstrations in OKC were not hastily arranged PR exercises, Enchassi emphasizes, but entirely consistent with his teachings and the practices of the mosque he leads.
“I’ve been condemning terrorism for more than twenty years,” points out Enchassi. “My sermons are all publicly available. There’s nothing hidden; there’s no double-talk involved. I’ve taught how to recognize someone who is planning to commit acts of terrorism, and about our religious duty to cooperate with authorities in identifying and, where necessary, prosecuting people involved in such crimes.”
This long and public history of peace-making and outreach did nothing to inoculate Dr. Enchassi and his fellow congregants against the viral outbreak of fear and hatred that was so diligently nurtured by Bennett and his comrades.
According to Megan Kelly, Fox News’s pneumatic herd-poisoner, the atrocity at Vaughan Foods was “the first beheading on American soil by someone who apparently self-radicalized” at the mosque where Dr. Enchassi teaches.
“In public, the mosque Noel worshipped at has denounced his alleged actions,” Kelly continued, her voice theatrically heavy with insinuation. She introduced an anonymous figure called “Noor,” who was shrouded in shadow to “protect his identity.”
“To the public, the mosque will not promote terrorism or any kind of radical acts,” drawled “Noor.” “But when they’re among friends and congregants only, they will promote the true teachings of Islam, which include the offer to non-Muslims – the choice, rather, that they must either convert, live under Islamic rule, or be fought against.”
“Noor” recited the familiar catechism of professional mosque-baiters – accusing the local Muslims of practicing “taqiyya ” and “stealth jihad,” and discussing beheading as an appropriate remedy for refractory non-belief in Islam.
“The last time I was in the mosque as 2011 … at the request of law enforcement,” the anonymous accuser told Kelly, who claimed that Dr. Enchassi and his colleagues routinely preached sympathy for terrorism and subtle messages of violent subversion.
“I know who `Noor’ is, and from what I’ve observed he is a troubled man,” Enchassi told me. “He attended our mosque for a while, then joined a local white supremacist group before winding up at with a Christian congregation that spends a lot of time bashing Muslims.”
There is no evidence whatsoever that Nolen’s violent eruption was inspired by teachings he absorbed at Enchassi’s mosque. There is, however, reason to believe that hate-saturated anti-Muslim agitation inspired an incident last January in which Tulsa resident Stuart Manning assaulted a woman wearing a headscarf, threatened her with a knife, and slashed her tires.
Stuart, who claims he was drunk at the time, execrated the woman as a “f***ing Muslim bitch.” The victim, in fact, was a Christian refugee from Lebanon – although this distinction shouldn’t matter for those devoted to exterminating the “seed of Ishmael.”
In some ways, “Noor” is the photographic negative of Alton Nolen, Enchassi suggests.
“Nolen made it clear that he doesn’t like white people,” the imam related to me. “And this fellow being called Noor has similar problems with non-whites. If you examine the material from Nolen’s Facebook page, it’s clear that he was not a conventional Muslim. Some of what he said and wrote is quite a bit like the beliefs of the Black Hebrew Israelites, and some of it seems to be adapted from Satanist literature as well. He certainly wasn’t in any way representative of our congregation. It’s hard to say that he was representative of anyone, other than people inclined toward criminal violence.”
A representative sample of Dr. Enchassi’s teachings can be found in his pre-Christmas sermon from 2010 – for which “Noor” may have been in attendance, either on his own, or as an informant. The theme of that homily was the respect that Muslims should have for Jesus – who is revered by them as a prophet – and for Jews and Christians as “People of the Book – people who were worthy to receive the Book before us.”
“A long time ago, brothers and sisters in Islam, Allah sent the prophets, one after another, with the same message” of peace, reconciliation, respect, and love, explained Dr. Enchassi. Rather than exhorting his audience to pursue domination, the imam described how Muslims once embarked on what they believed to be a divinely appointed migration to Ethiopia in order to live under a Christian king who would “uphold justice”
“There are some parts of the world [where] Muslims and Christians don’t get along – not because they’re Muslims, and not because they’re Christians, but because … there is injustice being done,” observed Imam Enchassi. “Sometimes that injustice is being done by Muslims. Sometimes that injustice is being done by the Christians. Sometimes that injustice is being done by the Jews. That does not make Muslims and Christians ultimate enemies. Neither does it make Muslims and Jews ultimate enemies… As Muslims we are ordered by Allah to stand up for justice. It doesn’t matter who’s the person who is being unjust. We are to stand up to those who are being unjust. Even if they are Muslims? Even if they are Muslims.”
At the time, the Oklahoma State Legislature, under the influence of intemperate and bigoted people like John Bennett, was considering a measure intended to “protect” the state against the non-existent threat of “sharia law.” That measure would be a down-payment toward the eventual criminalization of Islam altogether. In addressing this development, Dr. Enchassi urged his audience to emulate the example of Jesus.
“Look at us in Oklahoma City, brothers and sisters in Islam,” declared Enchassi. “There are those who are legislating laws against Islam and Muslims. We will stand firm – but that does not mean that everybody in Oklahoma City is with those people.” He expressed appreciation for local Christians, Jews, and others of no faith other than that in human decency who had spoken in defense of the Muslim population: “Those are people who understood what justice is.”
In the teeth of officially sanctioned persecution, Enchassi continued, it was a Muslim’s duty to display “love and compassion …to the followers of the prophet Jesus – peace be upon him.”
“At a time when Islam is being attacked … we have a principle – don’t attack back,” he concluded, paraphrasing an admonition from the Sermon on the Mount.
This is indeed an alien doctrine to “Christians” of the sort who claim a divine mandate to “crush the Seed of Ishmael” in pursuit of a “Final Solution” to the Muslim Question.
(One of the photographs above was mis-identified in the original version of this essay. I regret that error, and appreciate the correction.)
(One of the photographs above was mis-identified in the original version of this essay. I regret that error, and appreciate the correction.)
Dum spiro, pugno!